Lace Curtains

A Signed Piece of Paper

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A genre-hopping, slightly disjointed (yet stuffed) horn of plenty from ex-Harlem frontman Michael Coomers, Lace Curtains' sophomore long-player may have the attention span of a two-year-old, but it packs enough heart, soul, and humor into its myriad mood changes to more or less hold the listener's attention. Coomers' pop acumen is on display from the start, channeling Lou Reed and Bryan Ferry on the sleek, disco-kissed opener "The Fly." "Boardwalk Alps" follows suit, doubling down on the shifty Roxy Music vibe that its predecessor established, but tempering it with a bit of broody patina of Joy Division-approved despair. "Kali" breaks the whole thing open and starts anew, offering up a beat-driven, Afro-pop/desert blues confection that sounds like Tinariwen fronted by Destroyer's Dan Bejar, while the decidedly Pavement-esque "Pink and Gold," a Starbucks-fueled reality check for an unnamed woman coming to terms with the fact that her music career may be kaput, feels like a throwback to Coomers' garage rock days with Harlem. A Signed Piece of Paper is anything but dull, due in large part to its creator's insistence that anything goes, both musically and lyrically (he manages to turn the first four Metallica albums into a satisfying couplet on the frenetic "St. Vitus"), but the constant shifts in tone can make for a jarring listen. Like all good things, it's best taken in moderation, or at the very least in small bites.

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